March 18, 2014
Mizzou 85, Davidson 77
|Rebounds (Off.)||33 (13)||34 (7)|
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Jabari Brown's game-high 30 points helped lead the Missouri men's basketball team to an 85-77 NIT first-round victory over Davidson on Tuesday night. The win sets up a Sunday second-round matchup vs. the winner of Wednesday night's Toledo/Southern Miss game.
The Tigers shot 61 percent from the field in the second half to outscore the Wildcats by a 48-36 margin in the final 20 minutes. Mizzou twice overcame 13-point second-half deficits.
Brown tossed in a game-high 30 points, surpassing 1000 total points as a Tiger in just two seasons. It was the junior all-SEC guard's 19th game scoring 20 or more points this season.
Brown cashed in on open looks early. With Mizzou trailing 15-10 less than five minutes into the game, he put together a 9-2 run by himself. After sticking back-to-back fade away jumpers, Brown drove hard to the basket and converted an old-fashioned three-point play. By the 11:27 mark, the Tigers regained a 19-17 lead.
Davidson answered swiftly, coupling efficient shooting with a heavy dose of senior forward De'Mon Brooks. Following a pair of Wildcat treys, Brooks scored on consecutive possessions down low. He finished with 29 points and seven rebounds and Davidson led 29-22 with seven minutes remaining in the first frame.
Again, Brown helped Mizzou battle back. The 6-foot-5 junior slashed through the lane and dished to Ryan Rosburg for a slam. Brown's transition layup a couple possessions later knotted the game at 29. Davidson's hot shooting continued, though. A buzzer beating three-pointer by Chris Czerapowicz handed the Wildcats a 41-37 advantage at halftime.
Davidson extended its lead early in the second half. Another bucket in the paint from Brooks gave the Wildcats a 13-point cushion with 16:19 to play. Missouri continued to show resolve, inching back into the game on the backs of Brown and Earnest Ross. With just over nine minutes left, Ross shouldered his way to the basket, absorbed a foul and finished a strong layup to slice the Tigers' deficit to five. The senior posted 16 points and hauled in six boards to complement Brown.
Fellow guard Jordan Clarkson added 15 points as the Missouri backcourt trio accounted for 61 of the Tigers' 85 total points. Clarkson's three-pointer from the top of the key cut Davidson's lead to one, Danny Feldmann's baseline two-handed slam did the same moments later, and Johnathan Williams III's offensive rebound and put back a minute later completed Mizzou's comeback. The Tigers reclaimed a 69-67 lead at the 6:00 mark.
The final stretch of the game was a seesaw contest as both squads traded baskets. Missouri finally edged in front for good on the heels of another Brown layup and Clarkson jumper. The Wildcats' late attempts from deep bounced out and the Tigers iced the game with clutch rebounds in the final minute.
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